Essential Question: How do we keep our lessons engaging? Does innovation play a part in this?
As I read the second part of Teaching Like a Pirate, I am inspired to take my direct instruction program and change the presentations while still keeping the lesson format. Innovation will definitely play a big role when creating different and creative ways to make the lesson engaging. Some of my ideas are to pair students and let them teach each other, make cards and turn it into a game of some sorts, or change the environment with lighting, music, or arrangement of furniture for a novel feel. My goal is to change the direct lesson from something to get through to a shared learning experience.
Corrective Reading uses repeated patterns to teach the word attack skills. My plan is to teach students the procedures, and then let them pair up and take turns as the teacher. There might be four parts of the word work section of the lesson. One student would be the teacher and their partner the student for part one. Then they would switch roles and the other would be the teacher for part two of the word work. They would go on switching for each part until the word work was complete. Kids love being the teacher.
Games are a great way to make a lesson interactive. One word work skill Corrective Reading uses is to say the sound and then the word. I can make sound cards and have the students match the sound cards with the word as we are going through the lesson. So instead of the student book with all the words laid out for them they would have to use the mixed up word cards to lay out the words in the lesson as we go through the lesson. It would be a puzzle of sorts. They could be in pairs in order to support each other and build class community. Then they could see how well they did on the challenge when they compare their book’s layout to their own.
Another Pirate inspiration idea is to change the environment of the lesson. We will turn off all the lights and use little flash lights to see our books during the lesson. I am going to buy those echo microphones and do the lesson speaking into them. Once in a while the class will go down to the library or some other place and have the lesson there. We will have an important experiment about using different kinds of background music best to determine the best kind of music to enhance the ability to stay focused on the lesson. I will have a form they can fill out. I have started a list using my iPhone app to keep track of ideas that pop into my head of the different ideas.